Vandy suspends coach after drunk driving arrest

BY foxsports • February 18, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) New Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason has indefinitely suspended an assistant coach charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Mason suspended Vavae Tata on Tuesday after learning of the defensive line coach's arrest Sunday morning. A university statement says officials are investigating the incident involving the coach, who was added to Mason's staff on Jan. 24.

Tata, 37, was arrested Sunday morning when police located him a few blocks away from an accident where he had crashed into two parked vehicles.

Tata told police he was trying to walk back to his hotel. He recorded a 0.18 percent blood alcohol content on a Breathalyzer test, above the state limit of 0.08. Tata was arrested and released on bond. He is scheduled for a court appearance March 5.

He was a defensive assistant at Stanford the past two seasons when Mason was defensive coordinator and followed Mason to Vanderbilt. Tata, who played defensive end at UCLA, was a graduate assistant at San Jose State in 2010 and 2011 and started coaching in 2006 at a Honolulu high school.

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